Kimi Hanauer is an artist, writer, and cultural organizer originally from Tel Aviv and based in Baltimore. Kimi is the founder and organizer of Press Press (427 N. Eutaw St., presspress.info, Instagram @press_press_bmore), an interdisciplinary publishing studio that aims to shift and deepen the understanding of voices, identities, and narratives that have been suppressed or misrepresented by the mainstream. In her practice, she is dedicated to two primary goals: first, to cultivate models and methodologies that can serve as utopian alternatives to our current realities, and second, to develop networks and spaces that can translate these alternatives into concrete experiences. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is held in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Kimi received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2015. Learn more about Kimi at kimihanauer.com and follow her on Instagram @kimi_hanauer.
Currently, as an artist in residence at the Peabody Library, Kimi is focused on the notions of the “American citizen” and the “immigrant,” and their relation to contemporary forms of white supremacy. Using historical documents like legal briefs and trial proceedings, she is creating an archive, sculptures, and a series of workshops that give concrete form to the critical findings of this research. The images featured here show an iteration of this ongoing project that was exhibited in Kansas City at Front/Space. The research ultimately shows how the notion of the “American citizen” has been constructed in reaction to a racialized notion of the “immigrant” in ways that (partly) shaped contemporary forms of white supremacy. The exhibition featured examples of moments where the legal definition of whiteness was refined in the 20th century through Supreme Court cases which excluded ‘non-white’ aliens from citizenship; since the first immigration act in 1790 through 1952, only “free white aliens” could naturalize. The full project will be featured in an exhibition and series of programs hosted by the George Peabody Library and the Institute for Expanded Research in Summer 2018.